On The Land

20 January, 2024

Young rural achievers look forward to big year ahead

FOUR siblings from the one family have their future sights firmly set on great aspirations after having had a remarkable year of achievements in 2023.

By Brigitte Daley

Young achievers: Jerry, Patrick, Rachel and Catherine English are looking forward to a great 2024.
Young achievers: Jerry, Patrick, Rachel and Catherine English are looking forward to a great 2024.

Rachel, 23, Jerry, 22, Catherine, 20 and Patrick English, 19, all won major awards in their respective rural industries.

They continue the magnificent legacy of their great, great grandfather James English who established the first dairy herd on the Atherton Tablelands in 1908.

A bull, 14 cows and six working bullocks were shipped from Goonengerry in Northern New South Wales by him, after being loaded onto a boat and sent up to the Tablelands by sea.

Nearly a quarter of a century ago, their parents Greg and Bronwyn English took over the home dairy farm in 2001. The siblings are fifth generation dairy farmers and are the second generation on their home farm.

They have three younger sisters, Hannah and twins, Frances and Mary, who actively work on the dairy farm as well.

In possibly a first for any show in Australia, three of the English siblings won three major awards at last year’s Malanda Show.

Jerry English won Supreme Champion Dairy Cow, Patrick English won the State Dairy Cattle Young Judges final and Rachel English won the State Dairy Cattle Paraders final.

Jerry had a phenomenal year last year and scored a “hat trick” by winning three major awards with his dairy cattle across the Atherton Tablelands.

He won Supreme Champion Dairy Cow at last year’s Malanda Show and also won both the 2023 Jersey and Red Cow On Farm Challenges.

Currently managing a dairy farm on the Atherton Tablelands, Jerry would like to own his own farm and milk his own cows.

“Technology is having a big influence on agriculture and will have an even bigger impact in the future,” Jerry said.

“Whatever industry you’re in, there will be a lot more modern technology, a lot more dairy farms are using automated collars to control feeding rates as a management tool for their herd.

“I would like to continue on with being able to breed good cows and compete in shows and On Farm Challenges.”

Jerry is currently at International Dairy Week in Tatura, Victoria which is recognised as the largest dairy show in the southern hemisphere.

Patrick English continued the siblings’ success with winning the local Dairy Cattle Young Judges competition. He also won the 2023 State Dairy Cattle Young Judges final.     

Patrick works with his brother Jerry on a dairy farm. He is also responsible for the rearing of the dairy heifer replacements on the property from day old calves through to weaning. It’s a very important stage of the production cycle on a dairy farm.

“I can see further advancements in young animal nutrition,” Patrick said.

“Currently probiotics are being fed to the dairy heifer replacements to optimize their growth rates and development as well as to build strong immune systems and optimize calf health.”

His future aims include keeping the competition alive in the dairy cattle section of the region’s shows.

The English siblings each own their own cows however, they are shown under the name of “The English Family”.

“Last year at the Malanda Show, a team of 39 dairy animals were shown by us,” Patrick said.

Rachel, the oldest of the English siblings, won the local Dairy Cattle Paraders competition and was  the winner of the State Dairy Cattle Paraders final as well.

Last year was the final year of Rachel’s reign as the 2022/2023 Malanda Show Dairy Queen.

Rachel is a fuel depot supervisor for Lowes Petroleum, and has previously worked on numerous dairy farms on the Tablelands. In conjunction with her current position, Rachel continues her involvement in agriculture.

“I love being involved in the dairy industry and showing dairy cattle and being involved in the show itself,” Rachel said.

“With the rise of technology there’s a lot more automation in agriculture such as automatic dipping and flushing (ADF) systems in dairies for when milking, however there is no substitute for people.”

Both Rachel and Patrick will compete in the national finals of their respective competitions in Victoria this September.

Younger sister, Catherine, works on the home dairy.

Catherine was the 2022 and 2023 Malanda Show Young Rural Ambassador, is one of two Queensland delegates on the Emerging Leaders committee for Agricultural Shows Australia and is also a Queensland Agricultural Shows Next Gen committee member.

Catherine is also the secretary of the North Queensland Sub-Chamber of Agricultural Shows which represents the 13 shows which are held across North Queensland.

She loves being an advocate for youth within the show and her passion for this stems from a very early age as a result of her family’s strong involvement with shows.

“It’s very rewarding to be able to engage, connect and amplify the voices of young people in the Queensland Show movement to ensure its long term sustainability,” Catherine said.

“I really enjoy working with a group of people to make the show come to fruition for everyone’s  enjoyment and benefit.”

She would like to become a community engagement development officer in rural areas and has insightful views on the future of agriculture.

“The advancement of technology will open doors for people not previously involved in agriculture, such as computer programmers,” she said.


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